Dietary Flavonoids

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Flavonoids are found in a wide variety of plant -based foods and beverages. Intake varies widely between individuals but is typically several hundred milligrams per day. The pathways of absorption are quite well understood and the amount absorbed and excreted for many flavonoids has been documented. For many flavonoids, a substantial percentage of the dose is absorbed, but is also rapidly metabolized and excreted within 24 hours. Some flavonoids such as proanthocyanidins and anthocyanins are poorly absorbed intact, but their catabolites are very efficiently absorbed after microbial biotransformation. Flavonoids are chemical antioxidants, but work in vivo primarily by indirect antioxidant mechanisms, such as inhibition of oxidative enzymes and induction of antioxidant defenses. Certain flavonoids modulate sugar metabolism, blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and platelet function. Together, these mechanisms reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and possibly type 2 diabetes and inflammatory diseases, as supported by human intervention and epidemiological studies. Future work should focus on long -term dietary dose intervention studies and also consider the introduction of some form of recommended intake values for flavonoids.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPresent Knowledge in Nutrition
EditorsJohn W. Erdman Jr., Ian A. Macdonald, Steven H. Zeisel
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9780470959176
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


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  • Flavonoids in urine, bile, as biomarkers for flavonoid intake
  • Flavonoids, and absorption, metabolism, excretion
  • Flavonoids, and risk factors for cardiovascular disease
  • Flavonoids, antioxidants, in vivo by indirect antioxidant mechanisms
  • Flavonoids, as antioxidants chelating iron, scavenging free radicals
  • Flavonoids, in plant-based foods, and beverages
  • Flavonoids, quercetin, hesperetin, absorption pathways
  • Quercetin and some metabolites, and effects on neuron cell signaling
  • Dietary flavonoids

    Williamson, G., 2020, Present Knowledge in Nutrition: Basic Nutrition and Metabolism. Marriott, B. P., Birt, D. F., Stallings, V. A. & Yates, A. A. (eds.). 11th ed. London UK: Elsevier, p. 561-572 12 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)

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